Thursday, January 05, 2006

MICROSOFT CENSORSHIP ROUNDUP The story hit the mainstream press today--an article in The Wall Street Journal this morning and one in the UK-based Telegraph tomorrow.

One bit of background and a fresh observation:

Because Microsoft has had so little to stay about the story so far (the company's terse, poorly-written official statement notwithstanding), a pair of employee-bloggers have emerged as the company's de facto PR team--or at least its ambassadors to the blog world.

Both bloggers stress that their opinions are their own. But their blogs are getting quoted in news stories, and their posts are providing momentum for discussion of the issue on the internet.

Their task was complicated early on, however, by blogger Robert Scoble--another Microsoft employee. Scoble first excoriated his company for its behavior ("Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don't agree with your being used as a state-run thug") and then--within a few hours--seemed to lose his nerve.

So it's been fascinating to watch the Softees duke it out with each other (and commenters) in real time, warts and all.

With the proliferation of blogs, we seem to have entered an era when it'll be exponentially harder for large, modern companies to maintain united fronts when controversy arises.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.